Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by the toxin of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The toxin prevents certain nerves from functioning, resulting in muscle paralysis. There are four different botulism types:
Some of the early symptoms of the disease include double vision, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness. Treatment generally involves administering an antitoxin and providing supportive care to relieve symptoms.
(To learn more about this disease, including how many cases occur in the United States, the usual prognosis, and how it is acquired, click Botulism.)